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Getting into Professional School - Timelines for Admission

This is a suggested time line for a “typical” student.  It can be modified for transfer students, students who enter the pre-med/dent program late, students who plan to study off-campus for a semester, or for almost any other reason.

Preparing for College

Although medical and dental schools will not review your high school grades, ACT or SAT scores, your performance may determine how prepared you are for college courses and your eligibility for scholarships.

Advanced Placement (AP) credit scores will determine the college credit earned, if any. More importantly than getting credit for earning an exemption from a science course is whether or not you have learned the material! Please remember that not all medical schools accept AP credit for required courses.

Summer before Year 1

  • Attend one of the four Passport sessions.
  • Attend the Pre-Med/Dent meeting on the afternoon of the first day of Passport. 
  • Meet the Pre-Med/Dent advisor and receive an overview of Calvin’s Pre-Med/Dent program. 
  • Consult and perhaps purchase excellent references such as “Medical School Admissions Requirements (MSAR) ( or  Official Guide to Dental Schools (
  • Explore web sites for various medical dental schools.  Pre-Meds may consider accessing Michigan State University College of Human Medicine’s “Premedical Handbook and Self-Assessment Guide”.

Student in lab

While you're at Calvin


You should select a major before the end of your sophomore year, and preferably before. 

Taking a semester abroad is generally looked at favorably by admissions committees.  Be sure to meet with the pre-medical/dental advisor prior to enrolling for a semester abroad. You need to especially consider how to complete two-semester sequence courses (e.g., Chem 261-262) and when to take the MCATs.

Interim grades of “H, S, or U” do count toward fulfilling the requirements to graduate from Calvin, but do not affect your GPA.Student in lab



While you're at Calvin

Year 1

  • Fall - suggested Courses:  Biology majors may take Biology 123.  (Non-biology majors may consider biology 141), Chemistry 103
  • Spring - suggested Courses:  Biology majors may take Biology 224 (Non-biology majors may take Biology 205), Chemistry 104.
  • Meet with Pre-Medical/Dental advisor.  
  • Get involved in community service particularly in the summer. 
  • Get some clinical experience.

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4